Deformities of the feet and toes are the result of being crammed into conventional footwear, and they take many years to form. It’s no surprise, then, that rehabbing those foot and toe deformities will also require years to heal. The good news is that it’s possible! Your feet and body are amazingly adaptable and resilient. However, this remarkable adaptation process only works well with patience, diligence, and a progressive approach over an extended period. Making positive, healthy changes requires an investment, but it’s one that is well worth making because it will pay dividends for a lifetime. With that said, there are tools available that can help ease our transformation back to health.
Here are a few helpful natural foot health tools that we are thankful for:
Sp1ke by Vigurus Technologies
Proprioception is your sense of body position and movement, acting as a guide for your balance. It’s mediated by the 28 bones, 30 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your feet. This sense is very important for healthy movement! Unfortunately, we greatly limit our proprioceptive capabilities by over insulating our feet inside of cushioned footwear. What’s more, our sense of balance and position in space is further diminished as we spend most of our time engaging with flat, texture lacking surfaces, including hardwood floors, tile, and even the insides of our footwear. As we mentioned above, however, we can restore this important part of foot health.
You can sharpen your proprioception by spending time walking barefoot outside as much as possible. The goal is to constantly engage this sense in a dynamic way. Take a stroll over a rock garden, or spend some time jogging in the grass and on uneven (yet safe) surfaces. Focus on engaging with changing surfaces and textures to feel the micro-adjustments your body makes. While that sounds easy enough, getting your feet dirty outside isn’t always possible. If we find ourselves indoors most the time, we can use special tools to stimulate our proprioception. Luckily, we found an awesome product to help bring your sense to life.
The Sp1ke from Vigurus Technologies is a mat engages proprioception by dynamically reacting to your body’s movements. When you move, shift, and change positions the spikes move, shift, and change position. This “ever-changing surface” requires your feet to constantly engage your ability to sense your body’s position. Your brain is therefore sensing your position and guiding your balance as the engagement occurs. The Sp1ke also promotes proper circulation through constant massage as you stand, eliminates nerve pinching, and neutralizes your hips and spine so that you remain in a neutral (straighter) position. Here are a few ideas on how you can use this proprioception enhancing mat:
- In the shower
- As a bathroom mat
- At a standing desk
- In your kitchen
- In your hallway
We are extremely thankful for tools that reinvigorate our ability to sense our connection with the earth, like the Sp1ke. We can’t recommend it enough! To purchase a Sp1ke proprioceptive mat, click here.
MOBO Wobble Board
Our ability to move healthfully, with efficiency and balance, requires more thanjust proprioception. While that is a big piece of the puzzle, we also need adequate muscular strength, endurance, and stability. Much in the way that over-insulating our feet in shoes deadens our proprioception, conventional shoes, acting much like a brace, deactivate the tiny muscles in the feet and ankles that help us move with balance and strength. Thankfully, one of our favorite tools helps strengthen your feet and lower legs to help you stabilize your stance. We are so grateful for the MOBO wobble board!
MOBO is designed with a hollow box under your little toes to prevent you from using a gripping strategy. It trains your feet to drive your big toe down to find stability through your arch. We here at Correct Toes constantly preach the benefits of aligning the big toe into its natural position. This creates a wider base of support that enhances balance, posture, and gait. Doing that helps us better utilize our strength. It should come as no surprise, then, that we love how this unique wobble board trains the user to activate movement through the big toe as this will lead to an increase in power and balance.
MOBO also teaches users to safely control the dynamic motion inside of the foot in a challenging manner. We need to train the feet in this way because they are dynamic structures that should move freely to absorb shock and help us stay balanced. Training on MOBO not only builds support through the arch for better foot control, it requires you to sync your grounded foot with your hips and core. This gets your entire kinetic chain working in concert to help you move with efficiency and ease.
We highly recommend investing in a MOBO wobble board. There is nothing else like this product, as it trains both the way you should balance (without gripping your toes) and the specific muscles that stabilize your stance.
To purchase MOBO, click here. Use code NORTHWESTFOOTANKLE10 at checkout to receive 10% off your MOBO wobble board.
Sombra Warm Therapy Cream
Years of wearing tapered conventional shoes with heel elevation takes a toll on your feet. For example, the Achilles tendon often becomes shortened up to three-quarters of an inch! Our resilient bodies can reverse this damage, however, but this process takes time and is often not without some aches and pains. Thankfully, the transition into foot healthy shoes and the rehab process can be eased with heat, physical therapy modalities, and warming or cooling gels, which brings us to the next tool that we are supremely thankful for: Sombra Warm Therapy!
Sombra Warm Therapy is a topical cream that relieves minor aches and pains of muscles and joints. It’s useful for arthritis, simple backaches, strains, bruises and sprains, among other ailments. Alongside recommending wearing Correct Toes and naturally shaped shoes, Sombra is one of Dr. Ray McClanahan’s favorite tools for treating his patients at his Portland Oregon clinic, “Northwest Foot & Ankle”. We are so thankful for tools like Sombra Warm Therapy that keep us moving with ease and on track in our natural foot health journey!
To purchase Sombra, visit our online shop.
Hypervolt by Hyperice
Much like Sombra Warm Therapy, we are thankful for massage tools that keep us limber and help ease pain! The Hypervolt percussive message device by Hyperice is a fantastic tool for recovery for those transitioning to natural footwear and as a part of a natural foot heath plan with Correct Toes. With regular use, we found that this powerful device helped ease muscle stiffness and soreness. It also improved our mobility, especially in the lower leg and ankle.
The Hypervolt comes with five attachment heads for different parts of the body for targeted massage experience. The variable speed selection feature further adds to the customizable experience with three levels to choose from. While the device is powerful, the highest setting doesn’t create an unbearable amount of discomfort. It’s aggressive yet not painful. Take it slow, listen to your body, but turn it up for those stubbornly tight spots.
For many reasons, we highly recommend this device for those starting their natural foot health journey with Correct Toes and naturally shaped shoes to those who are running marathons with nothing but sandals under their feet. You can purchase the Hyperice Hypervolt here.